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Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing

Cancer treatment for people with  mutations

People with an inherited  mutation who have been diagnosed with cancer may have different treatment options than people without a mutation. To learn more about standard of care treatment options for specific types of cancer, visit our section on Cancer Treatment by Cancer Type

If you have an inherited mutation, have been diagnosed with cancer and any of the situations below apply to you, you may want to speak to your doctor about your medical options. You may also consider enrolling in a clinical trial studying which treatments work best for people with an inherited  mutation. 

 

PARP inhibitors

PARP inhibitors are a type of that work by blocking a protein used to repair damaged . They were initially developed to treat cancers in people with an inherited  or  mutation. Since then, research and additional approvals have expanded use of PARP inhibitors to more situations. People with a  mutation who have been diagnosed with cancer may want to ask their doctor about  therapy. 


prostate cancer

The , Lynparza (olaparib) has received FDA-approval to treat men with , castration-resistent cancer, who have a mutation in  or another gene linked to a certain type of damage repair. Lynparza may be used to treat men whose cancer has progressed on enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone (Zytiga). 


PARP inhibitors for advanced ovarian, or primary peritoneal cancer

Several PARP inhibitors have been approved to treat ovarian cancers at different stages of the disease. In some situations, a tumor known as an  test ("hemologous recombination deficiency") can help women with an inherited  mutation and advanced ovarian cancer learn if they may benefit from a 

  • Advanced cancer which has recurred after third-line treatment
    • testing can help women with an inherited  mutation and advanced ovarian cancer which has recurred after three lines of treatment learn if they may benefit from the Zejula ().
  • after first-line treatment
    • testing can help women with an inherited  mutation and advanced ovarian cancer learn if they may benefit from the Lynparza?(olaparib) in combination with bevacizumab as  after first-line platinum chemotherapy.
    •  is approved for  in women with advanced ovarian, , or primary peritoneal cancer who had a complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. for does not require an test. 
  • after treatment of recurrent cancer
    • and () are both approved for maintenance therapy in women with recurrent epithelial ovarian, , or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum based chemotherapy.
       

PARP inhibitors for pancreatic cancer

Although PARP inhibitors have not specifically received approval to treat panceratic cancer in people with mutations, the American Society of Medical Genetics released a paper suggesting that people with  mutations and cancer should be considered for the same treatments and clinical trials as people with a or mutation. The  Lynparza is  approved for maintenance treatment of pancreatic cancer in people with a mutation whose disease has not progressed after completing first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.
 

PARP inhibitors for breast cancer

Although PARP inhibitors have not specifically received approval to treat breast cancer in people with mutations, the American Society of Medical Genetics released a paper suggesting that people with  mutations and cancer should be considered for the same treatments and clinical trials as people with a or mutation. Below are guidelines for PARP inhibitors for treating breast cancer in people with a or mutation. 

  • Treatment for breast cancer: The PARP inhibitors, Lynparza (also known as olaparib) and (also known as ) both have received approval for treating breast cancer caused by a  mutation.
  • Treatment for breast cancer: Based on results from a large clinical trial, experts recommend one year of the  olaparib for people with  breast cancer who have an inherited  mutation and who are at high risk for recurrence.


Breast cancer surgical decisions 

Because of the high risk for a second breast cancer diagnosis, women who are diagnosed with breast cancer who test positive for an inherited mutation in  may choose  mastectomy rather than and radiation. Mutation carriers who undergo mastectomy are less likely to develop a second breast cancer. 

Last updated March 16, 2022

find-support find-support

FORCE offers many peer support programs for people with inherited mutations. 

updated: 08/06/2022

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Paying for cancer treatment

The majority of public and private health insurance plans are required to cover cancer diagnosis and treatment; copays, coinsurance and deductibles often apply. Patient costs and coverage for specific doctors, facilities or treatments may vary based on your health plan. Visit our section on Insurance and Paying for Care: Treatment  for more information, links to sample appeal letters and other resources. 

Some pharmaceutical companies have assistance programs that help cover the cost for their medications: 

Organizations that offer co-pay assistance:

Other resources:

  • The American Cancer Society provides information and resources on covering the cost of cancer care. Public assistance, such as Medicaid may be available if you are ineligible for other programs. 
  • Needy Meds: Assistance programs to help patients with cost of medications and other healthcare.
  • Triage Cancer offers tools and resources to help individuals cope with the financial aspects of a cancer diagnosis.

updated: 01/22/2022

clinical-trials clinical-trials

The following are studies looking at treatment for people with advanced

updated: 06/26/2022

clinical-trials clinical-trials

The following are studies enrolling people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer:

A number of other clinical trials for people with pancreatic cancer can be found here.

updated: 12/15/2021

clinical-trials clinical-trials

The following are studies looking at treatment for cancer in people with muations: 

Advanced

Advanced breast cancer

A number of other clinical trials for treating patients with breast cancer can be found here.

breast cancer

A number of other clinical trials for treating patients with  breast cancer can be found here.

Pancreatic cancer

 

The following are studies enrolling people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer:

A number of other clinical trials for people with pancreatic cancer can be found here.

updated: 06/26/2022